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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 2,991

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At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves

An Iranian asylum-seeker wearing a Christian shirt waits to be baptized in the Trinity Church in Berlin, Aug. 30, 2015. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in the leafy Berlin neighborhood. Most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity, but there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian. Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighborhood.

Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there's no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Martens recognizes that some convert in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany — but for the pastor motivation is unimportant. Many, he said, are so taken by the Christian message that it changes their lives. And he estimates that only about 10 percent of converts do not return to church after christening.

Being Christian alone does not help an applicant, and Chancellor Angela Merkel went out of her way this week to reiterate that Islam "belongs in Germany." But in Afghanistan and Iran, for example, conversion to Christianity by a Muslim could be punished by death or imprisonment, and it is therefore unlikely that Germany would deport converted Iranian and Afghan refugees back home.

There's always a catch.


Judges 19:22-29

Judges 19:22-29

Stories from the bible. Courtesy of Atheist Jack

DISCLAIMER Posted in the Atheists and Agnostics safehaven. Besides, it's just a bible story, if you're offended by the content you might be an anti-theist bigot.

How To Get Away With Bigotry In Just 3 Words: “It’s My Faith”

On Wednesday night, the city of Houston, Texas passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on, among other characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, sex, nationality, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, and military status. Given the sweeping nature of the measure, it will undoubtedly have real, positive effects for people who are marginalized or discriminated against simply because of who they are.

But in an irony too great to ignore, the parties of god find themselves as untouched as their ideal unmarried woman:
“The ordinance applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions would be exempt.”

The act is growing tiresome. When Pope Francis flashes the slightest sign that he and by extension the Catholic Church may be softening on gay rights, for example, he is hailed as a progressive. In reality, he remains to the right of George W. Bush on gay issues. Or take his steadfast position against women’s ordination into the priesthood. Imagine a corporation that reserved executive positions for only men. It would be boycotted until it either changed the policy or went broke.


Never forget

That opposition to marriage equality was 100% religious based. And it came about in spite of religion, not with it's assistance.

There were theists who weren't against it, but religion in general is against it. Even Episcopalians who allow it wiin the church in america are defying their dogma and it's causing a split in the church, and in Africa the church is fighting against it.

Why Did God Create Atheists?

"There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?”

The Master responds “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs and act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that god commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”

“This means,” the Master continued “that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’”

Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 by Mar

Highlights Of The Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical

The Vatican released Thursday a 184-page papal encyclical by Pope Francis condemning the human behaviors causing climate change and urging global action to combat environmental degradation, marking the first time the Catholic Church has aligned itself with scientists on climate issues. Here are some highlights of the pope’s landmark climate change encyclical:

*Establishes Catholic Church’s stance on issue 30 years too late
*Announces new Eucharist composting program to reduce production of holy waste
*Unveils Church’s effort to reduce energy use by merging Father, Son, Holy Spirit into one deity
*Lays out Vatican’s plan to lead green initiatives by immediately recycling all records and documents pertaining to child abuse
*Reveals many of the world’s poor lack access to clean drinking blood of Christ


Pasta physics tech demo

Tales of Roman Emperors Feeding Christians to the Lions Are Titillating to Christians…

And wholly made up

Early Christian writers made up the entire narrative, starting in the second century A.D.

Call it persecution porn. Plus ça change…

You don’t have to take it on Wisniewski’s say-so. There’s ample academic proof for Cracked‘s claim, most notably in Candida Moss‘s 2013 book The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented A Story of Martyrdom. Moss, an Oxford- and Yale-educated professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame (of all places), writes that

“…the prosecution of Christians was rare, and the persecution of Christians was limited to no more than a handful of years.”


Scarlet Letters: Getting the History of Abortion and Contraception Right

X-posted from religion by request. This issue affects everyone and knowing the history helps us to safeguard it's future.

An interesting article I found while helping my friend study for her women's health class.


Sarah Cole carries firewood for chopping as part of her role as Plymouth colonist Alice Bradford at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Thursday, May 27, 2004.

Abortion was not just legal—it was a safe, condoned, and practiced procedure in colonial America and common enough to appear in the legal and medical records of the period. Official abortion laws did not appear on the books in the United States until 1821, and abortion before quickening did not become illegal until the 1860s. If a woman living in New England in the 17th or 18th centuries wanted an abortion, no legal, social, or religious force would have stopped her.

That, however, is not the way the anti-abortion movement likes to paint the history of abortion in the United States. Anti-abortion organizations such as the National Right to Life spin a narrative in which legal abortion is a historical anomaly and an unnatural consequence of modern America’s loose moral standards. On the National Right to Life’s website, for example, a page titled “Abortion History Timeline” describes “a few rogue doctors and midwives” performing abortions in early America, only “as far back as the 1850s.” In reality, trusted midwives and medical practitioners performed abortions from the beginning of American colonial life and throughout world history. Fox News also falsifies American abortion history on its website. On a page titled “Fast Facts: History of U.S. Abortion Laws,” it claims that abortion in the American colonies “was ruled a misdemeanor if performed prior to quickening.”


The Puritans brought their laws on abortion from merry old England, where the procedure was also legal until quickening. Although the Puritans changed much of England’s legal system when they established their “city upon a hill,” they kept abortion as a part of Puritan family life, allowing women to choose when and if they would become mothers—whether for the first time or the fifth time.

You really dont understand your privilege

I hope someday you will, like your realization of your pope's bigotry.
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